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What happens to psychological safety when going remote?

by   Anastasiia Tkalich, et al.

Psychological safety is a precondition for learning and success in software teams. Companies such as SavingsBank, which is discussed in this article, have developed good practices to facilitate psychological safety, most of which depend on face-to-face interaction. However, what happens to psychological safety when working remotely? In this article, we explore how Norwegian software developers experienced pandemic and post-pandemic remote work and describe simple behaviors and attitudes related to psychological safety. We pay special attention to the hybrid work mode, in which team members alternate days in the office with days working from home. Our key takeaway is that spontaneous interaction in the office facilitates psychological safety, while remote work increases the thresholds for both spontaneous interaction and psychological safety. We recommend that software teams synchronize their office presence to increase chances for spontaneous interaction in the office while benefitting from focused work while at home.


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